1. #1
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    Default Need ideas, suggestions on Rescue trucks...

    We have an opportunity to apply for a local grant (our county only). This grant is from a foundation set up years ago by the family who built the first hospital in the city of Amory. Recently the hospital was sold and the proceeds went into this foundation, and they will be giving out 1.5 million in grants each year! For some reason this has sent us thinking..... We attended the first meeting that they held and at this meeting we were told to dream and dream big, don't be afraid to ask for anything! So here we go...........

    We currently run about 225 to 300 calls per year, a lot of EMS calls, a good many MVC's. Our current rescue truck which has all of our medical equipment and rescue equipment is an E350 retired ambulance, 200,000 miles and on top of GVW as it sets. We have been thinking about replacing this truck with a rescue truck (F550 chassis) with perhaps a small tank and pump or a rescue pumper with a 1,000 GPM pump, small tank, rescue equipment, etc. This would be run in addition to our main pumper at structure fires. Additionally, if using a rescue pumper we would get rid of the rescue truck we currently have and an older ALF pumper and possibly another old tanker truck as well.
    Would be nice to run one truck on an MVC instead of two for rescue operations and fire suppression.

    Does any of this make sense? Does anyone else run a "rescue pumper" on a rural department? If so, how is yours set up?

    Our fleet:
    2 1,000 GPM pumpers, only 1 meets rating bureau standards and is furnished by county
    1 350 GPM pumper, county furnished
    1 rescue truck
    2 brush trucks
    1 3500 gallon tanker (tender )
    1 3200 gallon tanker
    1 1000 gallon 6X6 brush truck
    1 1,500 gallon tanker
    Last edited by arhaney; 03-21-2006 at 11:44 PM.
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    The only thing about rescue pumpers is you have to be willing to sacrifice the space for the pump. I really like the Pierce rescue pumpers though.
    Last edited by KEEPBACK200FEET; 03-21-2006 at 01:05 PM.
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    We run 2 "rescue" units simlar to what you describe... they also both pull double duty as brush trucks but their primary function is for EMS/MVA calls (extrication equipment, med kits, AED, etc)

    Ford F-550 Chassis:

    GMC chassis:


    The ford carries 500 Gallons of water, has light recue capabilities.
    The GMC carries 250 Gallons of water but carries our PowerHawk Extrication equipment.

    Both have 2 SCBA's, tools, Cribbing, etc.

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    In your situation, a resuce pumper makes alot of sense. Why play musical vehicles with a first out piece?

    I would just not sell yourself short in order to do it. Get a vehicle that can handle of of your local needs. I would say that with less than 300 runs a year that should be easy to do.
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    Two Q's and at least three lightbars.

    Seriously, I would stay with the two or three rigs on MVCs, if nothing more then scene safety. We run our quint in addition to other rigs for this reason. Its a big rig and blocks alot of traffic.

    Is this possible new rig going to need supply hose? Is there a chance you would need to supply your primary engine? Answer that question and that should tell you if you need a rescue with fire supression ability (like a small CAFS set up and a reel) or a full blown rescue engine.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 03-21-2006 at 02:38 PM.
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    Default Here in North/Central Vermont

    there are at least 3 that look like this...(I hope this works!) My dept runs the second photo along with an engine with 5. So we have an a couple on the knob, just in case.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by WaterbryVTfire; 03-21-2006 at 02:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire
    there are at least 3 that look like this...(I hope this works!) My dept runs the second photo along with an engine with 5. So we have an a couple on the knob, just in case.
    I would absolutely would not buy a Coca cola truck and try to convert it to a piece of fire apparatus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    I would absolutely would not buy a Coca cola truck and try to convert it to a piece of fire apparatus.
    Former depts I worked for had these "Bob's used car lot" special Coke Trucks and they aren't worth a damn.

    Get a vehicle designed for firemen...not delivery drivers.

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    Its not a delivery truck or was it ever. It was designed by the membership, to carry all extrication/rescue tools. Due to our response area, (approx 10 miles of highly traveled interstate.) And very small station. It was decided something small was needed to get around the stopped traffic. I'd put that ugly little thing up against any of the "big boys" when comes to handling and maneverability!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    I would absolutely would not buy a Coca cola truck and try to convert it to a piece of fire apparatus.
    I agree 110%..........Being a small volly department, funding is always a problem.
    Every once in a while it's nice to be able and place an honest fire apparatus into service. We've built plenty of our equipment, now we have this chance to get something that will better fit our needs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    I would absolutely would not buy a Coca cola truck and try to convert it to a piece of fire apparatus.
    Most "heavy rescues" in Vermont aren't much more then what my brother to the north posted. Many are F550s, or converted ambulances. The two that were shown are exceptions to the rule.
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    Opps...I think you meant that about the first pic?
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    You might consider a CAFS system in lieu of a full pump. It takes up a lot less room than a full pump and tank, and is very easy to operate, leaving the DPO free to do other things. That's what we did on our brand new rescue, which should be in service in a few weeks. From the pierce website:

    http://www.piercemfg.com/new_deliver...52&Type=Rescue

    The reason we went with CAFS is that we have quite a bit of heavily traveled high speed highways, and enough staffing to respond one unit while other members come to the station to pick up the second piece. Our unit is probably quite a bit larger than what you are looking for, as it also does true squad work on the fireground, and water rescue support.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel4880
    You might consider a CAFS system in lieu of a full pump. It takes up a lot less room than a full pump and tank, and is very easy to operate, leaving the DPO free to do other things. That's what we did on our brand new rescue, which should be in service in a few weeks. From the pierce website:

    http://www.piercemfg.com/new_deliver...52&Type=Rescue

    The reason we went with CAFS is that we have quite a bit of heavily traveled high speed highways, and enough staffing to respond one unit while other members come to the station to pick up the second piece. Our unit is probably quite a bit larger than what you are looking for, as it also does true squad work on the fireground, and water rescue support.

    We went with a CAFS system on a Ford 550 chassis. 300 gal. tank. We have the 4x4 shift on the fly, one of our biggest debates was whether to go with a 4 door model or use that space for a hose reel. (We went with the 2 door model and got stiffed by our council on the hose reel. ) It has proved to be a good unit. Made by Snuffer and priced out ~$160,000.CDN. We got the rear compartment heater as it is something of a necessity here in the Canadian Prairies. We use it for wildland, MVA's, and an assist at structure fires. Keep in mind that it is not currently rated as an engine which is why it isn't our First Due for a structure fire. Overall, it has been a good unit for us. A few minor glitches but nothing major. There is a picture of it somewhere way way back in the Pub thread.
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    I was involved in the early stages with Malahat's search for a new rescue truck. I've been gone from there for almost a year, but they just took possession of their new F550.

    I dont have the full specs on it yet, but when I get them, I can send to you. What I do know is its diesel, 4x4, walk around cabinets and a crew cab.

    Malahat runs only about 65 - 80 calls per year, but they attend a lot of medic, MVA's and brush/car fire calls. Its a rural area, with a lot of logging and off road areas, which is why the 4x4, not to mention the 10 days per year of 3 feet snow they get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arhaney
    I agree 110%..........Being a small volly department, funding is always a problem.
    Every once in a while it's nice to be able and place an honest fire apparatus into service. We've built plenty of our equipment, now we have this chance to get something that will better fit our needs.
    The pic of the Underhill / Jericho truck is an E-one built on a International chassis. Last I knew E-one did not build for Coke even though they do have red trucks.

    The Chief, as well as 5-6 of the members/officers, own/work at the International dealership in that town. You can't ask for better service on an emergency vehicle as far as getting it in to get worked on in this area.

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    Not sure why the problem with the commerical chassis? Aren't there a few of those on the front line in a few big cities (Ft. Worth comes to mind). While they aren't as pretty as a Pierce or Seagrave. They stand up to just about anything. Even some "rich" departments cannot afford the big fancy "heavy rescues". And for that matter, some are a bit over kill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none
    Not sure why the problem with the commerical chassis? Aren't there a few of those on the front line in a few big cities (Ft. Worth comes to mind). While they aren't as pretty as a Pierce or Seagrave. They stand up to just about anything. Even some "rich" departments cannot afford the big fancy "heavy rescues". And for that matter, some are a bit over kill.
    I don't think that they are talking about a commercial chassis, taking a used beverage truck and converting it into a rescue truck is what they are talking about.
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    Looks like we'll be going for an F-550 light rescue. Will have 300 gallon tank, possible foam or CAFS (has my vote ). Rescue pumper seemed like a lot of dough to ask for! Cost should be in the $100,000 dollar range. Our 10 year old commercial pumper only cost $120,000.

    Perhaps the local grant will come through for us, time to park our current 200,000 mile rescue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    I would absolutely would not buy a Coca cola truck and try to convert it to a piece of fire apparatus.

    Why?? Our dept. has done that with great sucsess. We converted it into a rehab unit, and we have plumbed it for decon. We have a small freezer with bagged ice, tons of bottled water, the big box fans (3 - 31/2 foot) with misters 20 or so of the bagged floding chairs , a couple cots and much much more. It had gotten high praise from the Red Cross and every dept. around us, And is being used county wide.

    And for the original question. A rescue/pumper is a great idea. And take a look at some of the smaller builders not just the big boys pierce etc...
    Last edited by ducken; 03-24-2006 at 07:35 AM.

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    Guess I'm going to go against the grain here and speak agaianst a rescue pumper ... for several reasons:

    1. Manpower. The manpower needed at a WORKING MVA will exceed the manpower carried on most rescue/pumpers. You factor in command, the driver which is now the pump operator, a 2 man hose team at a minimum (4 if your SOPs is to pull 2 handlines - 1 to protect the patient and 1 to protect the extrication crew or knockdown the fire) and at least a 3 man extrication team you are now up to 7-9 needed personal. And that is without factoring in any FFers to assist the EMS agency. To me this is sorta like the quint arguement where you try to perform 2 functions at the same time with one crew. IMO you need a dedicated cerew for extraction (the rescue) and a dedicated crew for fire safety (engine).

    2. Space. You simply do not have the space on a rescue/engine to carry all the equipment you need for engine company ops and rescue ops, especailly if down the road you expand into other areas such as water, high angle, technical rescue etc. You are dealing with 2 truck with very different functions and trying to cram them all together.

    3. Function. Making your second engine your rescue to me is very dangerous as quite simply, it does not you allow to fight a fire safely (one engine is not safe) and operate on a rescue scene at the same time. Also, if it goes out of service for maintaence or mutual aid, you have lost both your 2nd engine and rescue.

    There are many other points, but that sums up the major thoughts. Go with a rescue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    Guess I'm going to go against the grain here and speak agaianst a rescue pumper ... for several reasons:

    1. Manpower.
    2. Space.
    3. Function.
    1. You need that many FF's for the average extrication? Wow. Our rescue engine seats 8... but we routinely handle extrications with a crew of 5. A dedicated IC? Have the IC respond in a support vehicle if that's all they're going to be doing. Dedicated operator? Deadman the pump... it's a standby line that can be quickly placed into action. 2 standing-by on the line for an extrication? If that's the best use of personnel, have at it. 2 handlines on an "average" extrication? Now that's overkill to me.

    2. Spec the truck to carry what you need, and include wiggle room for possible expansion. Creative storage and newer designs make it very possible to carry the equipment needed for an engine and rescue. No, you might not have room for a Stanley hydraulic concrete breaker... use some common sense.

    3. Successful implementation will ensure the truck functions well.

    I think rescue-engines work very well. If you want/need an additional piece of apparatus to block traffic, add an extra engine or support vehicle to the assignment. To be meaningful as a "block" at highway speeds, the truck has to be further away than the length of handlines and hydraulic lines anyway... so that piece of apparatus will not be able to do anything else on scene.

    Heck, many departments run quints that handle MVC's... is it right? Who knows. But it works for many. Who are we to say it's wrong if it works?
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    Just a couple of thoughts based off of the last couple of posts. All of our apparatus has 3 person seating at the most, no custom or 4 door cabs here. Response varies from night and day calls, daytime weekday calls are slim, night and weekend calls have a good turnout. Presently we'll run our rescue first out, primary pumper second, then brush trucks and the other pumper as needed for traffic duties. Our response area covers everything from country roads, two lane highways and two four lane highways. One on the nozzle, deadman the pump, firemen as needed for pt. care and extrication, (3 most times unless multiple victims) the rest on traffic control. We normally have two deputies and one Highway Patrolman available for our entire county, so we do almost all traffic control. In our area this can require as many as 4 firemen. Normally if extrication is required THE ROAD WILL BE SHUT DOWN!!!!!!!! No questions asked!
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    A few random thoughts to mix in or discard as you see fit....

    We have a medium-duty walk-in rescue which we love, except for the fact that it is underpowered. It is on a commercial International Chassis. FWIW we got the next size up chassis for our new tanker, and it has all the power and moxie in the world even with a full tank of water on board. When we replace this truck we will stick with International and just make sure we get the right size chassis.

    It carries all our primary EMS equipment and responds to every medical. Other rigs have some redundant stuff for multiple calls, though.

    It carries our extrication equipment and responds to every MVA. It aso has a monster winch in front (which I admit I have used to pull firefighters' trucks out of snowbanks with, and once used to pull the rescue truck itself out of a snowbank, lol). Along with the Hurst tools it has a nice complement of cribbing.

    It carries some limited technical rescue equipment, which includes a stokes and a couple of regular backboards, and also our ice rescue equipment and suits.

    it carries a small complement of basic firefighting tools and a respectable set of shop-style tools.

    It has an onboard generator powered by a PTO (saves space vs. self-contained generator engine and eliminates need to fill second fuel tank) to run four 100 watt scene lights and any 110v stuff you want to plug into its many outlets.

    It seats seven firefighters, the five riding positions in the back have seat-mounted SCBA. We rarely run with that many on board, but it is certainly possible. Either way, it helps get more SCBAs to the fire, and makes for a nice place to pack up in a pouring rain or other nasty weather. There are also about eight spare SCBA bottles on board.

    One of the rear benches was deliberately sized to allow you to strap down a backboard and has the appropriate seatbelts to do so, so it can be used as a transport vehicle (with qualified personnel aboard and/or with medical Director approval) for an MCI or during an ambulance shortage.

    As a walk-through with lots of standing room inside (you can also get to the cab) it is also excellent as a rehab unit during extreme heat or extreme cold. The interior also sports a working command desk console with radios and telephone, so it serves as a backup command post unit for the area if the Sheriff's Dept Rescue Squad command unit is not available. Even has the token green strobe on top though it is too short to see it below .

    This truck was certainly not break-your-bank expensive, and we like it a lot.

    It does not, however, have any fire suppression capability, which you seem interested in having.

    Here's a picture. I removed references to my FD's name because we have a few guys who are deathly afraid of us having any web presence (I have no idea why but I play along). It is surprising how much this thing carries, but it is all packed very efficiently!

    (image removed to recycle bbs image storage space)
    Last edited by RLFD14; 06-11-2006 at 10:25 PM.
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    2. Spec the truck to carry what you need, and include wiggle room for possible expansion. Creative storage and newer designs make it very possible to carry the equipment needed for an engine and rescue. No, you might not have room for a Stanley hydraulic concrete breaker... use some common sense.
    Take that one step further and spec the truck for what you have/NEED as well as some of what you want/SHOULD have and then take on a little wiggle room. Our rescue engine is 3 years old and man is it full. To be adequately equipped to be an engine and a rescue with the 15 miles of interstate we cover is brutal. Needless to say in OUR case we will be going to a full dedicated rescue as soon as the expansion of our HQ is done and we have somewhere to park it.

    The creative storage idea is great, there is a lot of stuff out there in the tool mounting arena that can make storage out of what used to be wasted space. Pull out tool boards, drop down shelves, etc. Just remember, cribbing and stabilization equipment alone takes lots of space.

    I know this is a debate with lots of folks and I am not taking sides, just drawing attention to it... but compartment door type. Traditional doors afford you full compartment space but increase your vehicle footprint when open and force your FF's to step back(possibly closer to oncoming traffic) to give them clearance to get opened up. Roll ups open up with out any extra space required, just roll them up over your head and your ready, however the down side is you forfeit the upper areas of the compartments to allows room for the door to roll up into a.... welllllll..... roll

    Just some thoughts!

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